Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hey buddy.

One of the things I was wrong about was thinking that Serbia would be a lot like Macedonia. It is, but not nearly as similar as I thought. The language is much different, for instance. Nobody drinks Turkish coffee. There's a lot more pork, dumplings and sour cream. I'd say Belgrade is closer to Budapest than Skopje, which I think it is geographically, at least. But I base my assessment of Budapest knowing only that they make goulash up there, so it's not the most informed conclusion.

Anyway, Macedonian has a word, "dechko," that is very useful. It is similar to "boy" or "bro" and it great for getting a waiter's attention and other situations when you need to address someone whose name you don't know.

At the bank, yesterday, my colleague called the teller, who we see every week, "devojke" which is the female equivalent. I asked her if that was something I could use to address a waiter. "Oh, no," she told me. "You only use it with someone you know well." I asked her what she would say in that context. "Iz vinite," she said. "Excuse me. We're more formal in Belgrade."

Yesterday I was having coffee with a colleague and as the waiter was going back inside, we decided it was time to pay the bill. "Dechko," I called out. "Mozhe racun." He nodded, and she laughed. "That's not so polite," she told me.

Sorry, bro.

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